As startup founders, we usually assume that the toughest part of building a brand is the early stage phase – when your company is newly established and you’re already envisaging the success your business would achieve.
In reality, what most people don’t know is that the beginning isn’t the tough nut to crack here. Most people can start up a company, what differentiates one company from another is what happens in the future – whether your business will still be up and running a decade later or dead on arrival.
Here are eight tips to help save your business from death and keep it running far into the future:
Invest in building a good team
First of all, remember that one of the startup’s cornerstones is its team. Sure, while they weren’t the ones who conceptualized the business idea or established the company, you need to trust them with your vision.
Ensure you communicate that you see the value they bring in, pay a competitive wage and make them feel appreciated. Pay them on time, correct them politely to build their confidence and not to destroy their self-esteem. Also share tools to help them grow where necessary.
Additionally, make your work environment as conducive as possible. Don’t micromanage them or constantly monitor their lives. Ensure that they continue to develop their skills – you can pay for training courses that they can attend or take so that they can acquire more knowledge to help your business grow.
Every facet of your business should be organized, especially your finances. If that isn’t your forte, take free online courses to help you, you can’t expect to suddenly be good at book-keeping when you have no previous experience. Although you might be financially literate, it is still advisable to employ someone who is skilled in that area to ensure that your finances are safe and that you don’t exceed your means.
Improve your technology
We live in a digital world. As such, technology is one facet of human life that’s constantly evolving. This means that your business needs to keep up with the latest trends as much as it can. While it doesn’t have to burn a deep hole in your company’s finances, it won’t hurt to invest in the latest tech for your company; get necessary software, ergonomic chairs that will make your employees comfortable, or even a whiteboard to aid easy and interesting presentations during meetings.
Know your clients
With information easily available at our fingertips, some brands tend to become lazy about building strong relationships with their clients. Before you fall into that abyss, remember that no business would be in operation if there are no customers. And that’s why you must focus on connecting with your customers.
While the beginner part of your company’s establishment was majorly focused on acquiring clients; now that you’ve gotten them, ensure you have strategies that will keep them.
With many companies offering similar products or services and new ones springing up on a daily basis, customers can get easily seduced. One way to stand apart from your competitors is to provide consistent, happy customer experiences.
Ensure you know your customers; meet them if you can, send them emails personally customized for them, send them personalized greetings and gifts on their special occasions. Ensure you respond to emails, messages, inquiries or complaints promptly and be easy to contact. Put simply: reliability and excellent customer service can turn customers into loyal ones.
If you’ve never tried networking before, it might sound difficult. However, attend events and make sure that you meet and connect with as many people as possible. Networking is one of the best strategies in keeping your business alive for as long as possible. During conversations, ensure that your body language shows that you are sincerely interested in talking to them, maintain eye contact, smile, be welcoming and ask people questions.
Learn to delegate
When you’re running a company, you might want to be involved in every facet of your business, after all, the company is your baby – your sweat and your dream materializing right before your very own eyes. However, the stark truth is, as your business grows and begins to expand, micromanaging all aspects of your business would be next to impossible.
So, instead of spending hours designing that flyer, hire a freelance graphic designer. Having problems with that blog post you want to schedule for the company’s website? A freelance writer can help!
Stay hungry for growth
No matter how far you’ve gone or achieved, don’t get caught up in the euphoria of now. Be open to challenging yourself; invest in courses, meet new people who can give you fresh perspectives on how to improve, find mentors or industry leaders or even colleagues in your industry who will keep pushing you towards the sky.
Remember to breathe
While money can buy you most things, it cannot buy you self-care and mental health. Don’t get burnt out before you take a step back from work. It’s okay to go on vacations, enjoy life, attend social events, connect with family and friends or even switch off your phones and laptop for a day. You need to be whole and full to be able to birth those amazing ideas,